Why Make Dirt, Not Waste

Composting is a natural process. Microbes, oxygen, and water all work together to turn “organic material” (anything that was once alive) into nutrient rich soil... compost!  Yes, it is scientifically inaccurate, but sometimes here at Eureka, we lovingly refer to it as dirt. But compost is so much more than dirt! 

Why would we waste a valuable resource that our lives depend on (and increase global warming in the process)?
  • Composting keeps food scraps and paper products out of landfills and incinerators. 
      - When those materials break down in a landfill, they become powerful contributors to global warming by creating methane, a greenhouse gas.
      -  When trash is burned (a common practice in the Twin Cities), incinerators emit carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas 310 times more powerful in atmospheric warming than carbon dioxide.
     
  • Compost replaces the need for petroleum-based chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and its benefits last much longer in the soil. Fewer chemicals on our food and land is healthier for all living things!
  • Compost replenishes and revitalizes exhausted farm soils. In the U.S., soil is now eroding at 17 times the rate at which it forms. 
     
Eureka Recycling's 2009 report, Recycling, Composting and Greenhouse Gas Reductions in Minnesota, outlines on the environmental benefits of recycling and composting. Download the full report or executive summary.
 
The benefits of recycling and composting vary greatly depending on how they are implemented. Eureka Recycling has released serveral studies about recycling, which are available at www.eurekarecycling.org. Eureka Recycling's newest report, Zero-Waste Composting: How Food Scraps Help Conquer Climate Change and Disease, outlines the benefits of composting based upon whether or not we prevent wasting food in the first place, along with WHERE and HOW we compost. Read more